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Rivers: Okada Riders Get Reflective Vests, ID Cards

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The Rivers State Government has charged commercial motorcycle operators in nineteen local government areas of the State and parts of Eleme and Oyigbo council areas where their operation has not been banned to cue into the transport reform programmes of the present administration for their good.

Speaking at the launch of a new regime of commercial motorcycle operators’ reflective vest, identification card and crash helmets at Isiokpo, headquarters of Ikwerre local government area, the state, Transport Commissioner, Mr. George Tolofari, explained that the launch was part of government’s plan to improve the security of lives and properties in parts of the state where okada business was still operational.

Hon. Tolofari expressed appreciation to the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Chief Chris Oruge for uniting commercial motorcycle operators in the State under the National Union of Road Transport Workers, stressing that with the present unity of purpose government could partner with them to make okada business more profitable and security-oriented.

The commissioner, who said that both the Rivers State Commercial Motorcycle Operators Law No. 5 of 2001 and the Rivers State Road Traffic Law No. 8 of 2003 had remained moribund ever since they were enacted into law, stated that the present administration was determined to enforce the laws not as a witch hunt but for the improvement of the transport sub sector in the state.

According to him, commercial motorcycle operators in the affected council areas who would readily buy into the new reflective vest, crash helmet and identification cards regime would not only save themselves, and their families from unwarranted pains and loss of lives, but would also not have any hard times in the hands of law enforcement agents as it affects the enforcement of the safety kits.

Hon. Tolofari, who expressed gratitude to the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon. Kerian Wobodo for his impressive hosting of the launch, appealed to the area police commands and federal road safety commission units across the affected council areas to join efforts to see that commercial motorcycle operators use the kits in line with government position on safety and relevant legislations.

The commissioner used the opportunity to announce government’s commitment to empower indigenous okada riders who were affected by the state government ban on commercial motorcycle business through the Skye Bank Taxi Scheme and appealed that when the taxis are given to them, it should be used to improve their living standards.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Mr. Kerian Wobodo, thanked the state ministry of transport for its determination to ensure that the Okada and Rivers State Road Traffic Laws are implemented in order to realise set objectives in the transport sub-sector in the state, adding that they should always carry one passenger as required by law.

Mr. Wobodo appealed to commercial motorcycle operators in the council areas where their operation has not been banned to appreciate the use of the reflective vest, crash helmet and identification card for their well being and improvement of security in the state.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Transport, Prince Vincent Atako, applauded the new vest, identification card and crash helmet initiative, saying that the development was a government gesture that commercial motorcycle should take advantage of to improve their operations for their good and that of commuters.

Earlier, the State Chairman of the NURTW, Okada branch, Chief S.O. Chukwu, had expressed their commitment to the transport reforms of the state government and assured of the willingness of their members to abide by the government new vest ID card and crash helmet regime to give their operations a better corporate image.

Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry (right) welcoming Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, Archibisshop of Niger Delta Province and Bishop of  Niger Delta North Diocese during the latter’s visit to the Assembly penultimate Monday. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry (right) welcoming Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, Archibisshop of Niger Delta Province and Bishop of Niger Delta North Diocese during the latter’s visit to the Assembly penultimate Monday. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

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Rivers

Youth President Launches N10m Grant For Obio/Akpor Women

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The leader of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Simplified Movement, Ambassador Chijioke Ihunwo, has unveiled a N10 million grant aimed at empowering women in Ward 1 of Obio/Akpor LGA.
Making the announcement during the recently concluded Obio/Akpor Ward 1 town hall meeting, Ihunwo revealed that the grant will be distributed in amounts of N100,000 to 20 women per community, including non-indigenes.
He stated that the gesture is a token of appreciation for the women’s unwavering support for Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Ihunwo emphasised the Governor’s commitment to ensuring that Ward 1, Obio/Akpor LGA, and Rivers State as a whole benefit from good governance.
Special Adviser on Power to the Governor, Hon. Solomon Abel Eke, highlighted the transparency and fairness that define the current leadership of the Obio/Akpor Simplified Movement, assuring that it operates without nepotism or impunity.
During the event, former leader of the Obio/Akpor Legislative Assembly, Hon. Achor Nna, criticised former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, who is also from Ward 1, for actions deemed uncharacteristic of true sons of Obio/Akpor LGA.
Also in attendance at the town hall meeting were Hon. Darlington Orji, Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the Governor of Rivers State, along with other prominent figures as well as other sons and daughters of Obio/Akpor.
They congratulated the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, and collectively reaffirmed their support for the Fubara-led administration, underscoring a shared commitment to the progress and development of Rivers State.

Theresa Frederick & Charity Amiso

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RSG Approves N225bn For Trans-Kalabari Road Project

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The Rivers State Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved N225 billion for the construction of the Trans-Kalabari Road project.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Joseph Johnson, disclosed this while briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting.
The meeting was presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara at the state Government House in Port Harcourt.
He said the project would be funded with savings from the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.
“We shall not borrow to fund the project. We are bent on generating money to fund our projects”, he said.
Johnson stated that the contractor had been mobilised with 30 per cent of the contract, worth to commence implementation.
The commissioner further said the project would be completed within a period of 32 months.
“This is the main Trans-Kalabari Road, the one that happened in the past was building of bridges.
“We are now doing a Trans-Kalabari Road that will run from NSS Pathfinder, immediately after Mgbuodohia community and extend to about 2km to the Aker Base Road in Rumuolumeni”, he said.
He also said the road would pass through the swamps behind the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, moving southwards towards the first bridge crossing.
“It will continue through a series of bridges, connecting many communities up to Tombia Town.
“The road will traverse very difficult terrains of swamp across rivers and creeks upon which series of bridges, decking and piling works will be done”, he said.
The Commissioner further said the state recently recorded some giant strides in the sporting sector.
Also briefing, the Acting Director-General, Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, Dr Ine Briggs, explained that the bureau diligently managed the proceedings leading to the award of the Trans-Kalabari road contract.
Briggs said the submissions of the state Ministry of Works were reviewed and all the supporting documents examined by the Ministry.
“Having fulfilled all the necessary procurement procedures and guidelines as prescribed by the Rivers State Public Procurement Law 2008 as amended, the Bureau is satisfied that all the elements leading to this award is sufficient to issue a certificate of no objection.
“Therefore, in consideration of all the relevant documents submitted by the Ministry of Works pursuant to the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road and bridges, the Bureau has issued the certificate of no objection, and that the contract be awarded to Lubrick Construction Company Limited”, Briggs said.

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Ongoing Elele-Omoku Road Awarded At N80bn – RSG

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Joseph Johnson, has said the ongoing dualisation of the Elele/Umudioga/ Egbeda/Ikiri/Omoku Road was awarded at N80 billion.
Johnson disclosed this in Port Harcourt yesterday while speaking to newsmen on the achievements of the Governor Siminalaye Fubara-led administration after one year in office.
He said the road, which cuts across three Local Government Areas, would facilitate easy movement of people and goods, saying “it will boost cross-community commerce.
“The farming communities along this area will find it easy to move their produce to markets in neighbouring towns.
“This project is a deliberate effort to make movement easy for our people, it’s no politics but service delivery”.
The Commissioner said the State Government had already paid 50 per cent of the contract value amounting to N40 billion.
“We are not paying lip service to governance, we mean business. We want Rivers people to see something new.
“We have devised ways of generating money to fund our projects, we are not indulging in any borrowing festival”, he said.
Analysts say the state capital will be decongested if the government successfully implements the line up of road projects in the state.

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